Flying over the coffee region in Minas Gerais, Brazil’s top producer state, brownish patches stain wide areas of the fields, indicating that the worst cold spell in nearly three decades may harm production for at least the next two crops.
“It was more terrible than I had anticipated… It’s rare to come across a field that hasn’t been damaged in some way “After seeing the farms in Varginha and other areas in Minas, such as Eloi Mendes, Paraguaçu, Alfenas, Machado, Boa Esperança, and Carmo da Cachoeira, from above for the first time, agronomist Adriano de Rezende, technical coordinator at the Minasul coffee cooperative, said.
According to farmers and analysts, the agronomist assessed that between 20% and 30% of the crops were affected by the extremely cold temperatures that rocked the region on July 20 in the worst frost since 1994 after surveying the fields from above on Thursday.
Minasul operates in key production centres in Minas Gerais’ south, a region that will account for roughly 40% of Brazil’s arabica coffee production by 2020. Large coffee firms like Starbucks and Nestle utilise Arabica as their primary variety.
The Cerrado Mineiro, another important producing region, has also been seriously damaged.